Prices In Sequential Auctions: Preliminary Evidence From Australian Rare Book Auctions
This paper examines price paths in sequential ascending auctions of identical rare books in Australia. Economic theory is inconclusive but suggests prices in sequential auctions of identical objects should follow flat or rising paths. The empirical literature is in several ways unsatisfactory, but points most commonly to falling price paths. Data from rare book auctions promise to overcome some of the problems in the empirical literature. A preliminary examination of rare book auction data from Australia indicates prices tended to be equal in sequential auctions of identical books in the 1980's and 1990's, and unequal in the 1970's. These results are consistent with the conjecture that more mature auction markets feature flatter price paths in sequential auctions of identical assets. Rare book auctions are a context in which further progress on sequential auctions is likely.
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